STATE ROAD — After making headlines two years ago celebrating her centennial on the back of a Harley motorcycle, Edna Hall is still celebrating her adventurous spirit.
“She came in riding on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle at 100 years old. Her son, Johnny, was driving the motorcycle,” said Pastor Dwayne Byrd. “I’ve still got pictures on my phone.”
John Hall explained that the ride was the result of a previous deal he made with his mother. “I figured me out a plan to get out of [going to church].”
John thought having no appropriate clothing would give him an excuse his 98-year-old mother would accept.
“I said I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll go to church today if when you get 100 years old you’ll take a ride on the motorcycle,” said John, “and she took me up just like that.”
John gave his mother the opportunity to decline the ride at 100, however she insisted on keeping the deal with her son who would turn 80 shortly after that ride.
“I thought she’d be scared, but she was waving with both hands holding onto nothing,” said John. “There’s bunches [of memories] like that, but I thought that was real good.”
Many of the family and friends present in the overflowing room at Cedarbrook Country Club spoke of that moment as a favorite memory as they shared stories of the birthday girl.
“Every time we would go to visit her and her husband, we’d be sitting in the living room,” said Byrd of the couple who were married for 72 years.
“She’d usually be sitting on the end of the couch and he’d be sitting in a chair close by and they reach over and sit there and hold hands while we were there with them. It was a real blessing for me and my wife to see people of that age still have that much love for one another,” said Byrd, who met Edna in 1984.
“It’s been a blessing knowing her.”
“I think we’re lucky to have had her this long and we’re all very blessed,” said granddaughter Amanda.
“She said when I was born that she would be lucky to watch me graduate high school and here we are hopefully in the next few months she’ll be watching me have my own baby.”
Amanda recalled adventures with her grandmother, including eating ice cream after visits to the park and surreptitiously jumping off the diving board at the Elkin Municipal Pool.
“She said she about had a heart attack,” said John.
Regular visits with grandma also meant adventures closer to home for Amanda.
“She would tell me ghost stories at night, too. It was a good time,” said Amanda. “We’re all very lucky to have had her.”
Amanda’s uncle, Kenny, agreed. “Me and my brother talked about it, she’s probably the only thing we can brag about,” said Kenny jokingly as he affirmed his gratitude for his mother.
“She’s always been there for me. I know I’m a little bit prejudiced, but I think she probably deserves [this party].”
Edna was surprised by the number of attendees at her 102nd birthday party.
“I really am surprised at all of this,” said Edna. “I thought my family would be here but not all of my friends.”
One of those friends was Dr. Alvaro Castillejo with Elkin Pediatric and Adult Medicine.
“He’s been her doctor for years and years and years,” said Edna’s daughter-in-law, Lisa. “He takes her out for lunch on her birthday.”
“Edna is our patient in our practice,” said Castillejo. “We’ve known her for quite a few years and we are very thankful to have her as part of our practice and our family.”
Edna has been a part of several families in her 102 years as a part of the West Elkin Baptist Church and her neighbors.
Julie Gillespie, who lived next to the Hall family 12 years ago, was happy to be part of the celebration as was current neighbor Jean Gall.
“It’s just a tiny bit away so we can walk up and see her,” said Gall, who plays cards with Edna, “even when it’s bad weather and stuff we still go out.”
“She remembers my children when they were just little bitty things,” said Byrd’s wife, Libby. “She is still very sharp.”
“Her mind is sharp,” agreed the pastor, “she will scold you if you play the wrong card.”
Edna is known for her love of cards, especially Skip Bo, and other forms of socialization.
“Her and my wife go out and visit some other people in nursing homes and assisted living places,” said the pastor.
“She’s the most wonderful, religious, caring person,” said Lisa. “She’s got great morals and great ethics, and she passes those along to everyone. She’s just such an inspiration to everyone that knows her. She lives by the golden rule and she does things that are healthy.”
“I have [had quite a lot of fun],” said Edna.
“I think it’s a happy birthday,” said Edna’s best friend, Hessie Church.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.